Craft-beer boom keeping N.B. hop farmer busy

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With a mass of new craft breweries popping up and expanding in the Maritimes, one hop farmer says he’s engross trying to keep up with demand.

«There’s more brewers all the old hat. And, a lot of the existing breweries are putting more tanks in and expanding. So, it’s looking honourable for us,» hop farmer Nic Southan on Shift NB.

Southan comes from a long succession of farmers and his property in Florenceville-Bristol, N.B., has been in the family for generations. In 2012, Southan little he’d give hop farming a try after hearing there was a shortage. He said he was one of the beginning hop farmers in the province.

It took about a year to get the root system inaugurate and now, Southan said he has plants as high as six metres and offers four peculiar varieties of hops to buyers.

Southan said he has about 25 patrons, including Upstreet Craft Brewing and PEI Brewing Company in Charlottetown, and Grimross Drink and Mama’s Brew Pub in Fredericton.

He admits that hop farming wasn’t something he from the outset planned on doing with his life. Still, he’s happy he chose this technique even though hop farming is a lot of work.

«It’s a lot of management. You’ve got to be around to know what’s contemporary on because as soon as you turn your back, there’s going to be insects do … [and] disease coming. You’ve got to be prepared and you’ve got to be very proactive.»

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